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Setup Workstation for Two-phase flow simulation using AcuSolve

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Old   May 30, 2020, 11:56
Default Setup Workstation for Two-phase flow simulation using AcuSolve
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Hi,

I would like to build a good workstation that can helps to execute simulation of my two-phase flow model via Altair AcuSolve.

I have some basic inputs that I need to use it for my workstation build-up which will help to get it within my budget. the software provider had used "Intel(R) Xeon(R) Gold 6142 CPU @ 2.60GHz" 2 CPUs with total of 96 cores in which they managed to complete the calculation of the model in 7 hours only.

I would like to have a build-up which can allow me to complete the calculations maybe within 3-5 days and I found that going for Intel Xeon (Gold) is expensive. and I was propsing to go for the following specs instead:

Option 1:
Processor: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2950X (16Core/32Threads/4.4ghz/TR4)
RAM: Kingston/Corsair/G.SKILL AEGIS Series 16GB DDR4 3000mhz
Storage : INTEL SSD 760P 1024GB NVME (3230/1625) + 2TB HDD

Option 2:
Processor: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX(32Core/64Threads/4.2ghz/TR4)
RAM: Kingston/Corsair/G.SKILL AEGIS Series 16GB DDR4
Storage : INTEL SSD 760P 1024GB NVME (3230/1625) + 2TB HDD

is there any issues with the AMD Threadripper ? by checking the specs is quite fascianting and the price is adequate with my budget ?

or maybe appreciate if you may advise on Intel Xeon processor with budget of $4,000 or less that can be used for my application and calculations time to take up to 3-5 days
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Old   May 30, 2020, 13:16
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There are quite a few issues with AMD Threadripper CPUs, especially older generations with more than 16 cores. Use the search function of the forum if you want to know more. A small selection of the issues: What do you think about this setup?
So let's just say I would recommend to stay away from it.

For a better recommendation, we would need to know how many cores you can use with your software license. And we need some ballpark figure for how much memory you need. You can check how much memory is used when you run your simulation on your current workstation. Or if that's not an option, what is the cell count of the case you are trying to run.
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Old   June 1, 2020, 04:40
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Thanks Flotus1 for your respond and sorry for the delay it takes time to get the inputs.

- software provider (AcuSolve) does not have limitation in terms of how many cores to be used for the license.
- here are details from the model/simulation similar to my case was being run by the software provider:

CPU name = Intel(R) Xeon(R) Gold 6142 CPU @ 2.60GH
CPU speed = 2600 MHz
RAM space = 96180 Mbytes
Swap space = 12740 Mbytes
Number of subdomains = 96
Number of threads = 32
Number of AcuPrep threads = 1

- There are 960,973 nodes in the calculations.

- with the above hardware that software provider has used, they managed to complete the simulation/calculations in 19 hours (sorry previously wrongly mentioned 7 hours)

appreciate if you can advise on a fit-for-purpose hardware for the build-up for my workstation which can expect up to 5 days can complete the calculations but subject to budget around USD3,500-USD4,500
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Old   June 1, 2020, 07:04
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It will be difficult to judge how fast any any hardware can solve your model based on the information at hand. My best guess based on "96 subdomains" is that your software provider used three dual-socket nodes to run the simulation, so effectively 6 CPUs total. This might be a wrong assumption though, and it is possible that scaling of this rather small case is not ideal with such a high number of cores.
It is also the low cell count that brings me to the conclusion that 64GB of RAM should be enough. Please don't sue me if this assumption turns out to be wrong I don't have much to work with here.

Anyway, here is what I would recommend for your system. Prices in € in my region, availability and prices may vary in your part of the world.

CPU: AMD Epyc 7352 (24 cores) ~1450€
Motherboard: Supermicro H11DSI or H11DSI-NT rev. 2 ~600€
RAM: 8x8GB DDR4-3200 reg ECC ~500€
CPU cooler: Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3 ~80€
Case: Phanteks Enthoo Pro ~80€
PSU: Seasonic Focus PX-750W ~130€
GPU: something in the 200€ range with at least 6GB VRAM, e.g. GTX 1660
SSD: 1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus ~200€, plus a PCIe adapter card for ~10€
HDD: 4TB non-SMR Hard drive ~120€

This build comes in at around 3370€.
The H11DSi has two CPU sockets. If you ever want to upgrade, you can just drop in another CPU plus 8 DIMMs, effectively doubling the performance. Even with one CPU only, this is still much faster than any workstation with an AMD Threadripper CPU.
A faster alternative would be to use two 16-core AMD Epyc 7302 CPUs (1120€ each) right away, with 16x8GB of RAM. But it would be slightly above your maximum budget.
The adapter card is to make use of the full performance of that NVMe SSD. The motherboards own m.2 connector only uses 2 PCIe lanes instead of 4.
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Last edited by flotus1; June 1, 2020 at 09:26.
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Old   June 1, 2020, 08:45
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Thanks for your reply. due to my concern on AME EPYC is not available, would u be able to recommend relatively similar specs but using Intel Xeon processor and other hardwares ?

your effort is appreciated and will not think to sue u as you are trying your best to help me. thanks again.
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Old   June 1, 2020, 09:41
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For Intel Xeon CPUs, you need to change motherboard, cooler and RAM. The rest of the system can stay the same.

Motherboard: Asus WS C621E Sage or similar, there are a lot more alternatives than for AMD. Just get one with either 12 or 24 DIMM slots.
Cooler(s): Noctua NH-U14S DX-3647. These do not support socket 3647 "narrow-ILM", so make sure your motherboard does not use this socket variant.
CPUs: 2x Xeon silver 4216 (16 cores each)
RAM: current gen Xeon CPUs for socket 3647 have 6 memory channels, so use 12 DIMMs for 2 CPUs. The Xeon silver lineup only supports up to DDR4-2400, so you can save a bit of money if you find cheaper offers. Memory prices are all over the place these days, with little correlation between rated frequency and price.
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Old   June 16, 2020, 11:29
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Hi Flotus1,

I've tried to source out for both setup (AMD EPYC or Xeon Silver) but unfortunately the price was exceeding my budget (over USD9,000) here in Malaysia.

I have few questions might seek your assistance to provide advise:

1) if I purchase separately all those items as per your proposal, would you think to install all those items into the casing need any special skill ? normally I can do the installation of any i3 and i5 processors with RAM of 8GB in which I am not pretty sure if its also similar to install those items. specially for AMD as I've never done so before this as well. I might purchase the items online from Amazon or any other online stores and then might able to get a price in the range as per your message earlier.

2) would u assist in proposing another Intel Xeon (much cheaper but with good performance based on your experience/knowledge) that instead of completing the computational model calculation in 7 days, lets say possibly to complete the model calculation up to 18 days ?
appreciate your help to provide the details as per below:

Using Intel Xeon
CPU:
Motherboard:
RAM:
CPU cooler:
Case:
PSU:
GPU:
SSD:
HDD:

Using AMD EPYC
CPU:
Motherboard:
RAM:
CPU cooler:
Case:
PSU:
GPU:
SSD:
HDD:


Thanks in advance, and sorry for the back and forth questions.
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Old   June 16, 2020, 12:26
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Quote:
1) if I purchase separately all those items as per your proposal, would you think to install all those items into the casing need any special skill ? normally I can do the installation of any i3 and i5 processors with RAM of 8GB in which I am not pretty sure if its also similar to install those items. specially for AMD as I've never done so before this as well. I might purchase the items online from Amazon or any other online stores and then might able to get a price in the range as per your message earlier.
If you are already familiar with assembling regular desktop PCs, then putting together this build will be a piece of cake. It's the same thing, just a bit scarier because the components cost more
There are tutorials specifically for socket SP3, because it is kind of a unique mounting mechanism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zyik-vSfvwo
You don't necessarily need a torque screwdriver, I never had any issues using a regular torx screwdriver and some common sense.

Quote:
2) would u assist in proposing another Intel Xeon (much cheaper but with good performance based on your experience/knowledge) that instead of completing the computational model calculation in 7 days, lets say possibly to complete the model calculation up to 18 days ?
appreciate your help to provide the details as per below:
Again, it is impossible for me to judge how long your simulations will take to solve, based on the little Information I have. All I can do is provide you the best possible price/performance ratio at a given price point.
If this entry-level dual Xeon system is 9000 USD where you live, then we are either looking at single-CPU solutions, or used hardware instead.
It is kind of hard for me to suggest anything, when I don't know how much it costs in your area, or which components are available at all.

So before I run out of ideas, let me try something different here: do you have one of these CPUs available, and how much would they cost: Intel Xeon Gold 6208U, 6209U or 6210U.
Another option might be some used 2011-3 stuff from Aliexpress: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000...archweb201603_
This bundle is still missing 4 more DIMMs, it's just the first one I found. This is probably one of those instances where Aliexpress is one of the better options.

Let's do some extrapolation:
Worst-case scenario: your software provider ran the test case on three dual-socket 6142. Scaling across nodes was 100%. And one of these nodes can solve the case in about 60% of the time of this 2011-3 node.
Then this machine will take 5 times longer, which is about 90 hours or almost 4 days.
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Last edited by flotus1; June 17, 2020 at 05:17.
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